Will Panthers use bye as an exception to extend Josh Norman's contract?

TAMPA, Fla. -- Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman has a policy of not negotiating contracts while in season, but he’s never been pinned down on whether the bye week is an exception.

Perhaps he’ll make it one for cornerback Josh Norman as the Panthers (4-0) get a week off before facing the Seattle Seahawks on October 18.

It’s not likely.

Even if it was, Gettleman wouldn’t admit it until he had a deal. He definitely doesn’t do interviews during the season.

But as mentioned here almost every week during the first three weeks of the season, Norman has a big payday coming.

On Thursday he was named the NFC Player of the Month for September after having two interceptions, one returned for a touchdown.

He started October off on Sunday with two more interceptions, including a pick-six that helped Carolina to a 37-23 victory over Tampa Bay.

No NFL player over the past two seasons has had two interceptions returned for touchdowns in the first four games.

Norman is playing like one of the elite corners in the NFL. The elite corners are being paid between $10 million and $14 million a year, led by Darrelle Revis of the New York Jets at just over $14 million.

Norman knows if he continues to play like he has been the money will be there.

To his credit, Norman has become as good at deflecting attention on his contract status as he has been at collecting interceptions.

“Look man, you can write whatever you want,” Norman said Sunday when asked if he’d listen to contract talks during the season. “I’m having fun. And I’m going to continue to have fun regardless.

“Either way it goes, it’s going to get done. The number’s going to be the number, no matter what. But at the same time, we’re having fun.”